Everton news

Cahill could lead the line

December 24, 2010

David Moyes may ask Tim Cahill to lead the Everton attack for the visit of Birmingham on Boxing Day.

Moyes: TC is OK

Everton's forwards have struggled in front of goal all season - managing just three goals between them in 18 Premier League games - but Cahill is having no such trouble.

Cahill netted his ninth of the campaign in Monday's memorable win at Manchester City and Moyes is considering pushing him right into the front line.

Victor Anichebe started up front at Eastlands but was sent off and is now suspended while Louis Saha, Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford have all laboured for little reward this term.

But with Steven Pienaar hoping to return from injury and Mikel Arteta back from suspension, Moyes has the midfield options that could make moving Cahill feasible.

Moyes said: "I wanted all the strikers to get a chance to see if they could find their form, get the goals, but in truth they haven't. Nobody has really stepped forward.

"At the moment we are probably close to starting Tim Cahill as a centre forward because we are not getting enough goals from the forwards that are there.

"We have tried every avenue. We are struggling to find a way to score goals and I need to find one."

Any solution involving Cahill, however, can only be temporary as the 31-year-old will be joining up with his Australia team-mates for the Asia Cup after the January 1 game against Stoke.

But Everton, who remain a disappointing 14th in the table, should at least be fired up by their 2-1 defeat of title-chasing City, which ended a seven-game winless run.

The importance of that victory to the players was obvious as they celebrated on the pitch with Moyes after the final whistle.

Moyes said: "We have not had many wins this season so any win felt like a big win.

"The players have felt bad because they have not been able to give the supporters any performances.

"We set ourselves up with high expectations and the other night I thought we matched them. For the rest of the season we haven't done that.

"That is not because we are playing badly or the effort isn't there - we have just lacked the quality to win the games.

"We need to find that again, we need people to try to come up with goals. We are reliant on the centre forwards but at the moment we are not getting many, if it is not Tim Cahill - and when he goes next month we are going to be looking for goals from somewhere else."

Moyes has generally been pleased with his side's performances despite their results but admits it is important Monday's success is followed by more wins.

"We have to make sure we get some results to make sure we are away from the bottom end of the table," he said.

"If we win them all then we will be starting to look at the top end.

"But until we are completely away from the bottom end then we can't talk about the top."

England defender Phil Jagielka is unlikely to feature after straining a thigh at Eastlands but is not yet ruled out.

Moyes said: "At the moment we think he's out but miracles happen this time of year don't they?"